Amidst the azure waters of the Persian Gulf, lies the island nation of Bahrain. This land mass made of 33 islands has a heritage that dates back several millennia and today boasts of a buzzing modern lifestyle and cosmopolitan outlook that sets it apart from the rest. Bahrain offers a wide variety of options for the avid traveller, from timeless landscapes and archaeological treasures to the thrill of the Formula One, places to visit and experience in Bahrain are aplenty.
Home to the ancient Dilmun civilization, Bahrain has been an important centre of ancient commerce for more than 4000 years. So it’s no surprise that this ancient land has been influenced by several cultures.
Today, Bahrain’s skyline is punctuated with skyscrapers that talk about its emergence as a hub for banking and financial activities.
Here are the top ten places to visit in Bahrain -
1. Bahrain National Museum: Step back in time when you step through the doors of the Bahrain National Museum. Get a glimpse of the nation’s rich cultural and historic legacy as you walk through the main halls that hold ancient artefacts, each with a story to tell. From the traditional handicrafts to the local customs and traditions, a tour of the museum will be an enriching experience that proves why the Bahrain National Museum is still the most popular tourist attraction in Bahrain.
2. Qal'at al-Bahrain: As you walk through the empty hallways of this ancient fort, you are filled with the realization that you are walking among legends. Just a 10 minute drive from the capital city of Manama, the Qal’at al-Bahrain is one of the best preserved sites of the ancient Dilmun heritage. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the forts sits atop an artificial hill and was the capital of the Dilmun culture.
3. Al Fateh Mosque: This beautiful testament to Islamic architecture has been built with marbles from Italy, glass from Austria, teak wood from India and finally crafted to perfection by the local Bahraini artisans. Explore Islamic architecture at its finest at the grandiose Al Fateh Mosque, located in Manama.
4. Al Areen Wildlife Park & Reserve: When the wild calls, you can’t help but answer. Especially when it’s the Al Areen Wildlife Park and Reserve in Bahrain. This expansive reserve is home to the Arabian Leopard, the Ostrich, the Arabian Gazelle, the Oryx and more. Al Areen is the perfect place to experience Arabian wildlife unlike ever before.
5. City Centre Bahrain: No visit to Bahrain is ever complete without spending an evening at the largest shopping, leisure and entertainment destination in Bahrain. Give your children the ride of their lives at Magic Planet, watch the latest blockbusters at Cineco20 Cinemas. With over 340 exclusive brands, 60 dining outlets and a million possibilities, you’ll be spoilt for choice at City Centre Bahrain.
6. The Tree of Life: If you are looking for a miracle in Bahrain, you’ll find it under the shade of this 400-year-old majestic mesquite tree. This tree is believed to be from the Garden of Eden and is a popular tourist destination. The tree has miraculously survived the ravages of time and still stands fresh and green among a sea of sand.
7. Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park: Discover a refreshing experience amidst your travels in Bahrain at the Lost Paradise of Dilmun Water Park. Centred on the theme of the Dilmun civilization, this state-of-the art water park is a fun-packed adventure for adults and kids of all ages.
8. Al-Jasra: Watch women weave mats from palm fronds both plain and bright, learn basket making, pottery and boat building too while you are at it. At Al-Jasra, a popular handcraft centre, get a taste of the local Bahraini life as you stroll past historic homes and tree-lined pathways.
9. Suq Al-Qaisariya: Explore this ancient marketplace trading in wares of envy for a charming shopping experience. More than 100 years old, it has been recently renovated and has several shops selling traditional wares.
10. Bahrain International Circuit: Get a taste of the fast life at the Bahrain International Circuit, the Home of Motorsport in the Middle East. The Bahrain International Circuit is open throughout the year and has recently opened a Karting Circuit for the thrill seeker. The Grand Prix week is a yearly event that attracts the who’s who of the racing world and speed enthusiasts from around the world.
A trip to Bahrain is an adventure waiting to happen. All you need is a willing heart and a wanderlust that will transport you to an experience that is Bahrain.